Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sky Watch Friday - Pastel

I saw these colours in the sky as we returned to the vehicle after a dog walk the other night. There was no way to get a better view and set up the scene better so I just had to point and click through the hedgerow but I don't think I ever seen such pastels in the sky before. To see more Sky Watch Friday shots from around the globe click HERE.

Masks and Masquerade

Its our niece's birthday party this weekend; she is having a masked ball and unfortunately we cannot attend. So we decided to make some masks anyway, and as she is such a big film buff, act out scenes from 5 famous films about people wearing masks to send her as a video quiz for the night, accompanied by a birthday message from us. It was such good fun and I really hope she enjoys watching and taking part in the quiz. I am not going to share the videos here, I don't think Mr Dancin would forgive me although his acting was outstanding and considerably better than mine, but I am sharing the masks I made as I am really proud of them. Home made is always the best and such good fun.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Burning the Midnight Oil

It's my last day at work today before maternity leave and it has been a long count down to get here. Typically I have been awake since 1.30 am and have finally decided to give up on my attempts to get back to sleep. In fact my alarm is due to go off in 20 minutes now anyway so there is not much point and once again it affords me some quality blogging time. 

I am going to miss a lot of things about my job and it will be hard not to have the focus as it can be stimulating and demanding. In addition I have spent the last three and a half years building a department and I am really pleased with where we are. On the other hand I absolutely cannot wait for the next 8 hours of work to be over so I can start focusing on my little girl, due to arrive in about 10 weeks, who is also awake...or so it feels anyway.

Right, time's up, shower here I come.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sky Watch Friday - Close of Play

Just when you thought it was safe to stop looking, this happened. To see other Sky Watch Friday shots from around the globe click HERE.

New Walk

I came across a new walk round the village last week that incorporates an area of open space I had not found yet and it is beautiful. There is a small hill to get up there which stretches the lungs and legs a little and the views are amazing. 

I didnt take photos of the urban areas that start and complete the walk, although they are lovely and interesting.

There are actually three paths that go through the park area, I took this one first by mistake and doubled back when it started to take me down towards the estate to the east as I was heading south and then west again to home.

This is the view to the east further along, looking towards England and below is the view southwest up the Vale of Llangollen and to the mountains.

This is the view of the middle path that I took across the park.

And then again the view south west heading towards the woodland and the old railway line.

A foot bridge crosses the old railway line which closed around the 1960's. The view below along the old track has become overgrown and obscured by trees however I like it. Nature has taken it back and   despite the restricted view it is a beautiful and peaceful vantage point.

After the railway bridge the path descends into formal open space through an area of old cottages. We are still high enough up to have a good view and strong breeze. I predict many family trips here flying the kite in years to come.

The walk only takes 40 minutes at a leisurely pace but in my current condition is ample and gets me out of the house to stretch my legs and stop thinking about work. My maternity leave starts next week but I plan to keep the walk up as a daily trip and look forward to visiting at different times of day for some good sunrise and sunset shots.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sky Watch Friday - Oppression

To see other Sky Watch Friday shots from around the globe click HERE.

Sunday, August 07, 2016


Yesterdays beach trip took us to Llandudno. We had planned to take a trip out onto Great Orme, the prominent limestone headland west of the town that boasts amazing views and interesting flora and fauna, however traffic slowed or journey considerably and we ran out of time. This being said we were in no way disappointed with our day out and discovered the most amazing seaside town hidden away on the north coast. 

We have driven past this area many times and I had no idea of the scale of this town, or the extent of its many attractions. I have never been anywhere with so many hotels and B & B's, and it seems although long established as an area of civilisation, Llandudno was greatly developed to become the town we see today through the Victorian era.

The town is beautifully maintained. A very traditional seaside resort that appears to have suffered little from a decline in interest and tourism unlike so many of the English seaside resorts of a similar size. The backdrop to the town is Snowdonia and there are amazing views of the neighbouring mountains from many of the streets.

The beachfront was packed with holiday makers, although there is still a great feeling of space in Llandudno itself, and we greatly enjoyed our brief exploration of the town.

There are still many things to return and explore in full including the Grade II listed pier, Great Orme and Little Orme, the west coastline of the peninsula, and the town itself. I am also planning a winter visit as it is the most beautiful town that I would like to photograph early one morning on a quiet day when no one is around. 

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Before its time yet timeless...

Radio 6 has just played the theme from Bladerunner by Vangelis (ooh and is following it up with Albert King, good call Huey) and it was so good to hear it. I got that soundtrack when it came out in the early 80's and it has remained a favourite since. I also had a tape recording of it with a couple of different versions of songs, the ones I know were different are Memories of Green and One More Kiss Dear, and I have long been meaning to track down this version on CD as both alternatives are superior in my opinion.

Anyway, I thought I would see what Vangelis was unto and what do you know but he has a new album coming out in September this year. Fabulous! Its called Rosetta and comes out on 23rd September. I may have to check that out.

In the meantime here is my favourite Vangelis track ever, heartbreakingly beautiful!

Lets face it, its my favourite time of day!

I am up early again after waking before the sun made an appearance and find myself excited at the prospect! Another opportunity to come downstairs in a quiet house, in a sleeping village, make some tea and go blogging!

Of late when I wake early I have suffered from the barrage of thoughts that sometimes plague us in the wee small hours when work and home life floods in and all you can do is lay there churning over everything that needs to be done; but this morning it didn't happen.

I had a great week at work last week and finally got on top of my current list of big and urgent jobs, home is under control for now, and I must have managed to convince my brain that all the recent stresses are nothing to sweat about. Of course that is usually the case but knowing it and believing it are two different things aren't they!

So here I sit, freshly back from my visit around the globe care of Sky Watch Friday, its early Saturday and the weekend stretches out before me with nothing to fill it but the things I want to do. Perfect!

We are planning a visit to the north coast at some point which is only a short hour away. In preparation I have been googling to investigate what I may see and have been amazed to learn it may even be this!

Image Credit: Steve Stansfield (Warden of Bardsey Island Bird Observatory)

Apparently Blue Sharks and Thresher Sharks have also been spotted off the coastline of Wales in recent years which is very interesting. We only moved to Wales 6 months ago and although I have holidayed here many times I have never associated the coastline with such interesting wildlife; my attention usually taken up with with amazing mountains, beaches and history associated with the area. I am clearly going to have to pay more attention and get our there with my binoculars!

Image Credit: Under Water Photography Guide (Thresher Shark)

Image Credit: South West Fisheries Science Centre  (Blue Shark)

Please note these are not my images, I have borrowed them and given appropriate image credit. If you want to know more please follow the links I have provided within the image credit. Thank you.

Sky Watch Friday - Hartley's Walk

We had some amazing skies on the dog walk the other night and as is often the case after seeing nothing of particular interest up there for weeks I took a lot of shots this evening as the sky changed rapidly and dramatically. This is one of my favourites. To see more Sky Shots from around the world CLICK HERE.


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